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Viney, Horace George (1885–1972)

by Michael Shepherd

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, (MUP), 1990

Horace George Viney (1885-1972), soldier and journalist, was born on 8 June 1885 at Parkside, Adelaide, son of George Viney, chaff merchant, and his wife Grace Stodden, née Burnard. He attended the Grote Street Pupil Teachers' School and in 1903 studied arts at the University of Adelaide. A lieutenant in the Commonwealth Military Cadet Corps (1908-11), he was commissioned in the 1st Battalion, 10th (Adelaide Rifles) Australian Infantry Regiment, in January 1911. Qualifying for appointment to the Administrative and Instructional Staff, Australian Military Forces, in February 1912, he was promoted provisional lieutenant in March. Next November he served at the Special School of Instruction, Albury, New South Wales, and in July 1913 was appointed adjutant in the 23rd Light Horse Regiment.

On 20 August 1914 Viney joined the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Australian Imperial Force, as an adjutant. Promoted captain, he embarked for Egypt in October and landed on Gallipoli on 12 May 1915. During a spell in hospital he was promoted major and rejoined his regiment as commanding officer of 'B' Squadron on 11 October. Shortly before leaving Gallipoli in December, he was appointed deputy assistant adjutant and quartermaster general, 2nd Australian Division. In Egypt Viney was transferred to the 18th Battalion as brigade major, 5th Infantry Brigade, on 1 February 1916 and sailed for France next month. For his actions at the battle of the Somme in September, when his brigade helped to hold a portion of the line at Pozières, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Appointed D.A.A. and Q.M.G., 1st Australian Division, on 13 October, he undertook staff training from December until February 1917. Returning to 1st Division headquarters in Belgium, he was appointed deputy assistant adjutant general on 7 April and assistant adjutant and Q.M.G., with promotion to lieutenant-colonel, on 23 July. For his valuable services at Ypres in September-October he was appointed C.M.G.

Viney married Darragh O'Neill at the Harrow parish church, Middlesex, England, on 6 June 1918. He became assistant Q.M.G., Australian Corps, on 16 November, embarked for home on 18 July 1919 and his A.I.F. appointment ended on 17 November. He had been mentioned in dispatches five times, appointed C.B.E. and awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Posted to the Staff Corps, A.M.F., Viney left for England in November 1920 to undertake the senior course at the Staff College, Camberley. Back in Australia in February 1922, he served as a staff officer until August when he transferred to the unattached list; he was placed on the reserve of officers in 1927 with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In civilian life Viney took up journalism and joined the literary staff of the Adelaide Advertiser; in 1936 he was commissioned by the Adelaide Chamber of Commerce to write A Century of Commerce in South Australia. He moved to Victoria in 1939. Called up for full-time duty with the militia staff, he was appointed deputy assistant director of ordnance services in December that year. He transferred to the reserve in 1941 and was placed on the retired list in June 1945.

While working as a clerk in Sydney, Viney was an active member of the Returned Sailors', Soldiers' and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia and helped to form the Kings Cross sub-branch. After his wife's death, on 25 June 1955 at the registry office, Sydney, he married Margaret Jane Lillian Browne; when he retired in 1958, they moved to Springwood. Survived by his wife and by a son of his first marriage, Viney died there on 7 March 1972. He was cremated with Presbyterian forms.

Select Bibliography

  • C. E. W. Bean, The Story of Anzac, vols 1, 2 (Syd, 1921, 1924)
  • C. E. W. Bean, The A.I.F. in France, 1916-18 (Syd, 1929, 1933, 1937, 1942)
  • Mountain Gazette, 15 Mar 1972
  • card index: personnel, AIF, 1914-18 (Australian War Memorial)
  • nominal roll, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, AIF, at embarkation 22 Oct 1914 (Australian War Memorial)
  • war diary, 3rd Light Horse Regiment and 5th Australian Infantry Brigade, AIF (Australian War Memorial)
  • recommendation files for honours and awards, AIF (Australian War Memorial).

Citation details

Michael Shepherd, 'Viney, Horace George (1885–1972)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/viney-horace-george-8927/text15683, published first in hardcopy 1990, accessed online 19 August 2019.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, (MUP), 1990

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